The Art of Knowing How To Pack A Car!

Finding a bargain is great, but being privy to great bargain information from the source — well there’s not too many things that make my day better than that.

Yesterday I received a text from a woman in the deli department at our local grocery store that we frequent two to four times a week.  Over the past ten or so years Hubby and I have established quite a friendship with many of the workers there and it has really worked out for us.  I share coupons with many of the women, and they in turn share “upcoming sale” information with me.  Yesterday however, the text I received was about a special in the meat department.  My friend in the deli, who’s friends with the manager in the meat department, was alerted that he had several cases of boneless, skinless thighs that had to be clearanced out immediately.  They were originally marked $3.20 per pound, marked down to $.99 per pound, and then clearanced for an additional 20% off the marked down price.  Knowing how we love chicken thighs, my friend texted me right away to share this information.

Within five minutes of receiving the text, Hubby and I were on our way to the store.  All the way there we contemplated where we would store the meat.  Our chest freezer was nearly full, the basement refrigerator freezer is full of frozen vegetables and fruit, and the upstairs refrigerator freezer is packed with a little bit of everything.  I want another chest freezer, but where we’d put it is another matter.

Hubby dropped me at the door 15 minutes after getting the text and I grabbed a cart and headed for the meat department.  Not wanting to draw attention to myself, I casually walked along the meat freezers, scanning all the prices, until I came to the chicken section.  There, right in the middle of the freezer were three shelves with family packs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs on clearance.  I quickly started to fill my cart.  In the end, I had 11 packages of thighs.  Just to give you an idea of the savings, one package was marked at $14 and some change and I got it for $3 and some change.  Not a bad savings.

On our way to the cash register we ran into our friend from the deli.  She was happy to see that we’d stocked up and told us that regular thighs and legs (with the skin and bones) were going on clearance the next day.  So guess where I went this morning?  You got it, back to the meat department.  Of course, I barely found space in the freezers yesterday for the 10 huge packages (yes it was 11 but I had to make something for dinner) of chicken we bought, but how could I possibly pass up such a deal.

This morning I picked up 8 packages of chicken thighs and 5 packages of legs for $.99 per pound less 20%, 4 packages of chicken thighs for $.99 per pound, and 4 packages of pork ribs that I found on clearance for $.99 per pound.  What a haul!  Of course I had the wonderful job of trying to squeeze all this into our already stuffed freezers when I got home, but if there is one thing my father taught me — I know how to pack a car, or in this case a freezer.

Growing up, whenever we went on our annual summer family vacation to Crystal Beach, Canada to stay with my Great Grandmother, there was a lot of luggage and other stuff to pack into our small car.  Two adults, two kids, all the luggage, any toys or entertainment us kids wanted, food for the 6 hour road trip, and sometimes anywhere from 2 to 4 dogs.  My father was in charge of packing the car and no matter how much stuff we had, he always found room for it.  Every nook and cranny was utilized, not an inch of space was wasted.

This ability to “pack a car” became my father’s “thing” that he was known for.  Whenever something needed to fit into a box, a car, a room, or even a bag, Dad was the one we’d rely on to make it fit.  Every time I moved, Dad was the one to pack the truck.  Every time the basement needed organizing and shelves needed to be put up, Dad was the one to build just the right amount of shelves and store everything perfectly.  Every time we went even on just a day trip, Dad was the one to pack the car.  His ability to make it all fit was untouchable.

For years I watched my father pack and organize.  I stood there with him as he calculated where to put each parcel, how high to stack each box, and what should go in next.  I watched and learned.  Now, after 46 years of observation, I have come into my own when it comes to “packing the car.”  The torch has been passed.

Whenever Hubby, the kids and myself head out for the day or for a week, I’m the one to pack the car.  We drove to Florida several years ago to take a cruise.  We had four large suitcases, blankets, pillows, two overnight bags, a garment bag, a cooler, the kids duffel bags, two camera bags, my bag of journals, a small television that we plugged into the lighter, and my laptop.  I managed to fit everything in the small space behind the second row of seats in our Ford Freestyle.  This gave the kids the entire two rows in the back of the car to sprawl out and enjoy the leisurely 3 day road trip to Florida.  Hubby still marvels at how I could possibly fit everything in there.

I pack our storage rooms in the basement, I pack the refrigerators, I pack the pantry, I pack our closets, and today I packed our freezers.  Yes, I was somehow able to fit every bit of the meat I bought today into “not an inch of available space” in our freezers.  I packed, unpacked, and repacked until the job was done.  What other choice did I have?  Now we should be set with chicken for a while.

Of course, while I was filling my shopping cart with chicken this morning, the meat manager happened to stop by to say hello.  He said he was glad that I’d gotten the word about the specials and that in the next couple of days several more things were going to be going on clearance.  Great!  Just what we need.  At least I have a few days to do a little cooking and possibly make some room so I can replenish and refill when the next great bargain comes along, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.


2 responses

  1. Hubby is a bread man so he hears about all of the specials in the meat market from his store employee buddies. He brings home amazing deals on meat and poultry. Our freezers are packed and there are only two of us! But we give away a lot to our son for his family. So hubby can buy more. ha!

  2. Inside information — that’s wonderful. I’ve been very lucky in being able to establish a relationship with many of the employees at our local supermarket, but it’s still hit or miss. Maybe my Hubby should consider a job change. I’d like that and so would our freezers.

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